Profile: Faith Steinwedell
Where in the world is Starkville, Mississippi? This is the question MSU volleyball player Faith Steinwedell pondered when university recruiters approached her four years ago about playing for the Lady Bulldogs.
Hailing from La Jolla, Calif., where she was a high school standout, Steinwedell had never heard of Mississippi State, the Southeastern Conference, or Starkville. However, after being offered a full MSU scholarship, she decided to make a trip "down south."
"My mom said I should take a visit. It was a major culture shock, but in a good way," the 6 ft. 2 in. right side hitter said, explaining, "What I had heard about Southern hospitality was true. The people were genuinely nice, and the campus was beautiful."
The youngest of five children, Steinwedell said it was part of her "life's path" to accept MSU's offer. She loaded up her belongings for a three-day trek to Starkville and to a starting position for the Lady Bulldogs.
Steinwedell's journey, though, hasn't come without some twists and turns. As a freshman, she started every game until halfway through the schedule when she suffered a season-ending ACL tear. She then played her entire sophomore year, before tearing the other ACL in 2010, coming into her junior year.
This season, Steinwedell has been an influential player and captain. Currently, she leads the team with 16 service aces, has a .171 attack percentage, and ranks third in kills and blocks, with 135 and 37, respectively.
In her career to date, she has played in 74 matches with 438 kills, 64 aces, 506 digs, and 142 blocks. She also has seven career "double-doubles," matches where she has reached double figures in two of four categories, including kills, digs, blocks, and assists.
A kinesiology major who wants to one day be a volleyball coach, she believes she can have the same positive influence that her mentors have had on her.
"I still have their conversations in my head," she said.
Next week … Richard Brown !